Post-gender pronouns are a bitch.
Ra3n and Naro sat on the grass and stared up at the sky.
"Hey, check it out! A falling star." Naro pointed zir hand off to the left.
"Where? I don't see it." Ra3n's smooth baritone lilted with the accent zie had loaded last week. Naro still enjoyed the novelty of what it did to zir voice.
"There. Look in infrared, it's brighter there."
Naro leaned against Ra3n in the comfortable silence, feeling the rise and fall of zir lover's chest and marvelling at the wonders of night sky.
"Well, you could come with me! This is just... I can't turn this down. Look up there. It's amazing! I have to go!" Naro flushed and turned away at the hurt in Ra3n's silver eyes. Ra3n crossed zir arms and leaned back against the door frame.
"I can't leave here. My work is here, our... my friends. I just planted the newest carbon fixers, there's a tidal shifter going in next month and..." Ra3n's flat tenor trailed off. "I can't leave Earth. There's still too much for me here. "
"It'll still be here when we're done Out There, Ra3n. Even better, everything on Earth will be new again - all the stuff the world will have come up with while we're gone! "
"That's because you'll be gone so long, Naro. I... I'll miss you." Ra3n looked up at Naro, and put zir arms around zir lover, burying zir head against the other's chest.
Naro ran a finger against the box lid, sealing it shut. "Are you sure you're okay holding on to all this? It's a lot of space. " Ra3n smiled tightly.
"I want to keep it. This way you have to come back for it."
"Hey. I'll come back for you. Across the whole universe. Because I love you, damn it, and not even a black hole will change that. "
"I love you, too, Naro. I just..." Ra3n's reply was cut off by a warning chime. White light filtered through the windows as a small flyer settled down on the lawn.
The pair went outside, wordlessly. Ra3n looked at the flyer - small, like a cross between a motorcycle and a dragonfly. Too small to fit a person inside.
Naro kissed Ra3n and held zir close.
"Goodbye. For now."
"Godspeed and good luck. Hurry back, my love."
Naro stepped up to the flyer. Two hand grips and a neural cap slid down from the flyer. A screen lit up on its side, blue with a white hourglass filling and refilling. Finally, the screen turned green and a smiling white face appeared. A smooth emotionless voice intoned "Upload complete. Initiating redundancy control procedure." Dozens of manipulator arms took hold of Naro's now-limp body as the flyer lowered a shroud. There was a loud electrical snap, and a bright yellow light. The shroud tightened and pulled back into the trunk of the flyer.
The voice spoke again as an arm held out a palm-sized unit to Ra3n. "Passenger pickup complete. Please confirm receipt of return ticket."
Ra3n murmured zir assent. As the flyer took off, zie looked down at the unit in zir hand. It was black, with a silver cylinder like an oversized pen. A red light on the front had changed to blue when Ra3n took it. Zie wept quietly as the flyer took off.
Through the long years, Ra3n always kept the unit in plain sight. Zir friends moved on, some opting for permanent storage or the final exit, but Ra3n stayed, working zir way through a dozen careers. Zie listened to the news about the Colonies, and the little that came back from the deep space missions.
Finally, one day, while zie sat cleaning vegetables, the unit chimed and the screen changed to green.
Ra3n walked over the unit. Zie smiled and pulled the silver wand out.
Nine months later, Ra3n looked down at the newborn infant in zir arms. Zie smiled, and, as a single polychromatic tear rolled down zir face, said "Welcome home, Naro."
I am also accepting short descriptions or phrases for turning into microfic.
If I get really stuck, I may also use Wondermark's Fiction Generator.